It’s noodle time! This delicious Yakisoba Recipe is super easy to make – and bursting with stir fried Japanese noodle goodness. Ready in just 15 minutes!

japanese yakisoba with shrimp

Sometimes I get a little homesick for Japan. 

On the days that my mom seems a trillion miles away, a trip to my local Japanese grocery store in Brooklyn can take the edge off and bridge some of that distance. And nothing does it for me quite like yakisoba. 

Sure, it’s no secret that I’m a noodle fiend. Whether it’s a plate of fiery Thai pad kee mao noodles or a savory and nutty Korean japchae, I’m ALL IN when it comes to noodles. But digging in to a yakisoba recipe, hot from the wok, is absolute boss-level for me – and is the most direct route to my culinary heart.

A note on this yakisoba recipe: I’m using packaged fresh yakisoba noodles that come with an included seasoning packet. While we’ll be adding ingredients to make this noodle recipe our own, the seasoning packet just nails the homey Japanese flavor I crave when I’m missing Japan. 

If you’re looking for more of a 100% from scratch noodle recipe, I think you’ll love this easy shrimp lo mein as well! And it may surprise you that lo mein and yakisoba are quite similar. So, let’s take a closer look at yakisoba!

What is yakisoba?

Yakisoba (焼きそば) is a stir fried Japanese noodle recipe. 

And while the literal translation of yaki soba is fried buckwheat, you might be surprised to learn that there’s no buckwheat (soba) used at all in yakisoba. Instead, wheat flour based Chinese style noodles are pan fried with vegetables like cabbage, julienned carrots and sliced mushrooms – as well as bits of pork or other proteins.

Yakisoba is pretty well known in the West from being included on the menu at teppanyaki (Japanese grill) restaurants. However, it’s wildly popular in Japan as a simple noodle recipe to be enjoyed anytime as a snack or as part of a larger meal.

And variations abound. Did you know you can get yakisoba bread at convenience stores and bakeries in Japan? Yep, much like it sounds, yakisoba pan is basically a bun (sliced down the middle hot-dog style) with yakisoba noodles inserted where you’d normally find the sausage. Topped with a bit of Japanese mayo, it makes one heck of a snack!

And yaki udon is a variation, most typically found in the south of Japan (where my mother lives), that uses udon noodles instead. Check out my Kyushu inspired yaki udon recipe here!

The yakisoba recipe we’ll be making today is a fairly traditional one. So let’s get to it!

yakisoba noodles package with vegetables and shrimp

Ingredients for yakisoba recipe 

  • Yakisoba noodles: These are Chinese style noodles made with wheat flour. Commonly sold fresh or fresh/frozen, you’ll typically find these noodles sold in packs of three servings along with seasoning packets at Asian grocery stores. You can also use these fresh wheat noodles in lo mein or even homemade ramen in a pinch!
  • Shrimp: Use 9 large shrimp – or 12 medium sized shrimp. It’s always best to thaw, peel and devein your shrimp prior to cooking.
  • Vegetables: I use one thinly sliced onion, a julienned carrot, 4-5 sliced shiitake mushrooms (or button mushrooms) and about a cup of chopped cabbage to give this yakisoba recipe a bit of heft and a garden fresh crunch. These veggies also stir fry super well.
  • Oil: I use vegetable oil – but any neutral cooking oil will work.
  • Beni shoga (optional): This is that bright red pickled ginger that you’ll find garnishing your Yoshinoya beef bowl, takoyaki and (sometimes) okonomiyaki. If you decide to use it, keep in mind… a little goes a long way! 

Now, these are my ingredients of choice, but feel free to experiment and play around with your own favorites. Plus, there are some other traditional additions that are worth a mention.

Like it super savory? Katsuobushi can help! Grab Japanese bonito flakes on Amazon here. Also, aonori – a powdered green seaweed – is a great addition to your cooked noodles just before serving. And would you believe that some people like mayonnaise on their yakisoba?! Well, it’s true (and it’s pretty good, hehe).

cabbage and shrimp stir fry

How to make yakisoba

  • Add your oil to a wok or large pan over medium high heat. Then add your onions, cabbage and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Push the veggies to one side of the wok and add the shrimp and mushrooms to the empty side. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.
  • Transfer all the ingredients to a bowl and set aside. 
  • Using the same wok, add one yakisoba noodle serving and follow the instructions on the package. (It normally advises to add around 1/4 cup water to the pan to loosen the noodles. Moving the noodles around the wok with chopsticks is the easiest way. Around 30 seconds is usually sufficient). Then add the seasoning packet and stir well. 
  • Add 1/3 of the shrimp and stir fried vegetables mixture to the pan and toss well. 
  • Transfer to a plate and serve with beni shoga (optional). Repeat the same steps for the remaining two noodle servings.

Since we’re using the flavor packet included with the fresh yakisoba noodles for this recipe, there’s not much calling for seasoning other than a dash of salt and pepper to taste before serving.

** However, if you can’t track down the Japanese yakisoba noodle packages with seasoning at your local Asian grocery, you could totally use the sauce ingredients from my shrimp lo mein recipe as your yakisoba sauce. Easy!

plate of yakisoba stir fry

What to serve with yakisoba

This yakisoba recipe is a super uncomplicated noodle dish. So, accordingly, it goes super well with Japanese home cooked recipes you might find at a rustic izakaya. Read more about the advent of izakayas here

Try serving yakisoba with:

But I find that, no matter what I serve my yakisoba with, these Japanese stir fried noodles are always a welcome taste of home.

Happy cooking friends!

yakisoba noodles

Did you like this Yakisoba Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

Print

Yakisoba Recipe 焼きそば

A traditional style yakisoba recipe you can whip up at home in 15 minutes. It’s so yummy!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3-4 1x
  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Stir Fried
  • Cuisine: Japanese
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned (sliced into small sticks)
  • 1 cup green cabbage, chopped
  • 45 shiitake or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 9 large shrimps, thawed, peeled and deveined
  • 1 package yakisoba noodles (3 single servings included)

Instructions

  1. In a wok or large pan over medium high heat, add oil then onions, cabbage and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  2. Push the vegetables to one side of the wok and add shrimp and mushrooms to the empty side. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Transfer all the ingredients to a bowl and set aside. 
  4. Using the same wok, add one yakisoba serving and follow the instructions on the package (it usually says to add 1/4 cup water and to loosen the noodles – using chopsticks is the easiest way – for about 30 seconds). Add the seasoning and stir well. 
  5. Add 1/3 of the shrimp and stir fried vegetables mixture to the pan and toss well. 
  6. Transfer to a plate and serve with benishoga (optional). Repeat the same steps for the remaining noodle servings.

Notes

You can keep leftovers of this yakisoba recipe refrigerated for 1-2 days.

Keywords: Japanese, noodles, stir fry, side dish, main, Asian

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